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R. Drew Smith Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Rev. Joseph Lowery with Rosa Parks

Undaunted Resistance: Joseph Lowery and the Spirit of SCLC

By Editors' Choice

By R. Drew Smith, AAIHS — Against all odds, a movement for racial justice took hold in mid-20th-century America, emerging from within the racially-heated South, and drawing sustenance from a rich-array of Black religious sources. A cadre of activist Black clergypersons were among the central figures in this historic social movement, with organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) epitomizing the promise of a socially-mobilized Black clergy sector. Although SCLC…

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy in St. Augustine, Florida. June 1964.

‘Until We Are All Free’: Learning from Tubman, King, and Stevenson

By Commentaries/Opinions

All of them returned to the South’s frontline struggle for racial justice. By R. Drew Smith — In 2020, January remembrances of Martin Luther King Jr. are occurring against the backdrop of two high-profile films emphasizing sacrificial servant leadership. First, the film Harriet provided a renewed focus on celebrated abolitionist Harriet Tubman. This biopic chronicles her mid-19th century enslavement in Maryland, her daring escape to a hard-won freedom in Philadelphia, and her…

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R. Drew Smith Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Co-Convener, Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race

National Reconciliation Without Accountability Rings Hollow

By Commentaries/Opinions

By R. Drew Smith Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Co-Convener, Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race — Twenty-five years ago, Nelson Mandela was elected South African president after serving 27 years in prison for leading resistance against racially-oppressive apartheid rule. During that same moment in April of 1994, a horrible tragedy was unfolding further north on the African continent as longstanding ethnic grievances within Rwanda irr

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R. Drew Smith Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Co-Convener, Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race

400th Year Remembrances of Slavery Should Prompt Renewed Attention to U.S.-Africa Policies

By Commentaries/Opinions

By R. Drew Smith Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Co-Convener, Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race With 2019 regarded by many as marking 400 years since the beginnings of African enslavement on the North American continent, the costs and consequences of that historic atrocity and the case for reparations for descendants of slavery have been receiving considerable attention. It is crucial there be a serious accounting of slavery, including a financial…

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